Recently I have been thinking a lot about structure. Mostly because I am starting on my next book, but inevitably I am also tempted by the "New Years" review&refocus process (I refuse to call it "resolution").
There have been about 6 or 7 new ideas floating around lately. Some are continuations of other stories I have written, some are rehashes of stories I have once heard, and a rare few are "new" ideas. I know... there is nothing new under the sun. You know what I mean.
So, about structure? I've been blocking these new ideas: By blocking, I mean cordoning them off, squelching them, forcing myself to stop at random short intervals so I can take a candid look at the ideas and judge them on merit. For me, this works.
For example, I had an idea about 3 weeks ago for a new Sci-Fi story. Wrote out a quick outline, sketched in some characters and wrote about 3 paragraphs. Then I stopped. Went back about a week later and realized it was crap. Overly done. Way too similar to other stories.
So I moved on. No biggee.
I used to worry when my ideas didn't flesh out. Scared I was not a "real" writer.
To hell with that. I've had many new and better ideas since that Sci-fi idea died on the vine.
And as to structure, this new way of doing it has me taking that hard look at my ideas. Is the structure solid? Will it hold up? Is the platform healthy enough to support an entire story?
Good questions, and if you heed them, they will provide great assistance.